UK indie bookshop market shrinks for 11th straight year
The number of independent bookstores in the UK fell in 2016 for the 11th straight year, with indie bookshop numbers almost halving over the period, reports the Bookseller.
The Booksellers Association’s (BA) membership figures show that the rate of closure has slowed, with a net loss of 27 stores in 2016, due to 32 stores closing, 16 not renewing their BA membership, and 21 new stores opening. The BA reports there were 867 indie stores at the beginning of 2017, compared to 1535 in 2005.
The BA blamed the closures on ‘a cocktail of pressures’, including rising business rates and rent, competition from ebooks and online retailers, and the rising popularity of other entertainment forms, such as Netflix and gaming.
‘The fact that bookshop closures have slowed is encouraging and is testament to the innovative, creative ways in which bookshop owners are continuing to fight to stay on the high street,’ said BA CEO Tim Godfray, stating that 32 closures in 2016 was ‘significantly fewer’ than the 46 closures in 2015 and the 48 closures in 2014.
Category: International news